Claudio Ranieri claims Fulham had 4 or 5 chances to win but Newcastle didn’t have single shot at goal
After not a clean sheet all season, Claudio Ranieri was relieved to see a very first one for Fulham on Saturday afternoon.
Fulham set up very defensively with five at the back and a defender (Callum Chambers) in midfield, but even so, the Fulham boss still thinks the visitors deserved to win.
Claudio Ranieri points out that his keeper didn’t have a save to make and the BBC Sport stats (see below) don’t lie, Newcastle failing to have a single shot on target.
Ranieri’s move to stop the rot/goals was understandable, less so was Rafa Benitez going so negative in a match where they were at home to a team bottom of the league, who had conceded 24 goals in nine away matches.
Claudio Ranieri indeed thought that Fulham could and should have taken one of their ‘four or five chances to win the match’ and indeed the final seconds saw a last gasp tackle by Jamaal Lascelles prevent a late winner.
There were penalty appeals at both ends but the Fulham manager thinks Rafa Benitez is wrong to think the Magpies were hard done by.
Claudio Ranieri stating that he had seen replays of both teams’ spot-kick appeals but that he thought the match officials had got them correct.
“In this moment for us it’s important to get a point, it’s important to have a clean sheet because in the last matches we play well, but with the first chance, the opponent scores a goal.
“This opponent (Newcastle) had just once chance in the first half – a block for the free-kick and then the header was very close to the goal but we saved it on the line.
“After that they made 30 crosses but without shooting at goal, or they shoot but our keeper never had to save anything.
“We created more on the counter-attack and we had four or five chances to win the match…but in this moment it is important not to lose.
“n the first half, for the first time we had a clean sheet.
“For us this is very important!
“Their penalty wasn’t, Rafa Benitez can say what he says but it’s not.
“The opponent takes the ball with a handball (at the end for us), I watched that also and it wasn’t penalty – that is ok for both.
“I thought my team were more solid, more calm, it was the first time we changed the system with three at the back and it was good.
“Newcastle clsoe all of the space and try to make a lot of crosses for Rondon and then find the second ball – but we closed down the space very well.
“This system has something good and something wrong as well – as do all of the systems, it’s the players who are important.
“In the second half maybe Newcastle had control of the match but without shooting at goal and we created four chances.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 Fulham 0
Possession was Fulham 46% Newcastle 54%
Total shots were Fulham 4 Newcastle 9
Shots on target were Fulham 2 Newcastle 0
Corners were Fulham 0 Newcastle 6
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Dubravka, Manquillo (Yedlin 84), Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Ki, Diame, Atsu (Kenedy 72), Rondon, Perez
Woodman, Joselu, Muto, Hayden, Fernandez
Crowd: 51,237 was announced but looked around 49,000-50,000 in reality (Fulham around 500, large minibus)
(Rafa Benitez needs to hold his hands up to this one? Read HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to this bore draw – Read HERE)
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